Educational Psychology

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College of Education and Human Development wordmark.
Department of Educational Psychology wordmark.

Psychological foundations of education

Psych foundations student accept their awards.
Psychological foundations of education students recognized for their contributions to the program. L-R: Jasmine Kim, and Isabel Lopez Hurtado (not pictured Anthony Schulzetenburg). Read more.

#9 in U.S. among educational psychology graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2018

Understand the way people think, learn, and teach

As a student in the program, you’ll study the psychological processes critical to education. Research in our program focuses on cognitive and social-emotional development, including high-level cognition and factors shaping and enhancing learning throughout the lifespan. You'll use this knowledge to develop better educational processes and procedures for schools and other educational agencies, businesses, human and social service organizations, health care providers, government agencies, and more.


  • Faculty (PhD only)
  • Research scientists at universities and companies
  • Government agencies
  • Other educational settings (e.g., K-12 school research offices)
  • Human and social service organizations
  • Health care organization evaluator/researcher
  • Research and development centers

Latest news


Dates and deadlines


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Programs and degrees


Masters and PhD students choose between two areas of emphasis:

Learning and cognition / educational technology
(MA, PhD)

  • Study how people think and learn
  • Research how people learn with technology and design research-based technologies to improve learning

Social psychological and developmental processes
(MA, PhD)

Study how social processes contribute to the success of schools and other educational organizations


Talent development and gifted education certificate

Develop, implement, and supervise programs to teach gifted and talented students in K-12 and postsecondary schools and other settings

EPSY 5135: Human relations workshop

  • Four credit course approved to meet the Minnesota Department of Education requirement for licensure
  • Includes simulation activities, curriculum writing, and supervised practice in basic human relations skills emphasizing social psychological principles involved in stereotyping and prejudice and their implications for educational practice


Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.


Fellowships and awards

Submit your application materials by Dec. 1, and you’ll automatically be considered for Graduate School fellowships and departmental awards based on scholastic achievement. Notification of awards will be sent in March.

Graduate assistantships

Get paid to work as a teaching assistant, graduate instructor or research assistant. Graduate assistantships are available through the department, College of Education and Human Development, and the University.

Note: Applicants who complete their applications by the March 1 deadline will be less likely to receive graduate assistantships than students who meet the Dec. 1 deadline.

Financial aid

Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.


Visit the College of Education and Human Development’s Awards page for scholarship information.


The Department of Educational Psychology is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of our undergraduate and graduate programs, of our teaching and learning, of our research and clinical practice, and of our outreach and service across fields of educational psychology. Visit our diversity page to learn more about our commitment to diversity and resources for supporting diversity and inclusion.

How to apply

Alumni profile

"The Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota is one of the best in the field."

Sarah Carlson headshot.

Sarah Carlson, PhD. '11 Assistant professor, Georgia State University

Read more about Sarah's experience.

Faculty and instructors

Learning and cognition / educational technology

William M. Bart headshot

William M. | Lab

  • Relationships among cognition, instruction, and testing
  • Gifted and talented education
  • Chess expertise
Panayiota Andrea Kendeou headshot

Panayiota Andrea KendeouDirector of graduate studies, Guy Bond Chair in Raeding | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in reading comprehension
  • Change of pre-existing beliefs and misconceptions
  • Technology-based comprehension interventions and assessments
Keisha Varma

Keisha | Lab

  • Cognitive processes in science learning
  • Scientific visualizations and student learning outcomes
  • Teacher knowledge development and effective teaching practice
Sashank Varma headshot

Sashank Varma Program coordinator | Lab

  • Understanding of abstract mathematical concepts
  • Long-term memory and language understanding
  • Computational models of mathematical reasoning, language understanding, and spatial problem solving
Steve Yussen headshot

Steve | Lab

  • Memory and comprehension of stories
  • Narrative exchanges between children and parents (e.g., storybook reading, reminiscence)
  • The role of culture on narrative storytelling and memory
Martin Van Boekel headshot

Martin Van Boekel Lecturer

  • Cognitive biases (ie., hindsight bias)
  • Source credibility
  • Informal learning environments (ie. school-organized sports)

Social psychological and developmental processes

Geoffrey Maruyama headshot

Geoffrey MaruyamaDepartment chair | Lab

  • Achievement processes in schools and other organizations
  • Connections between social processes and educational success
  • Research and community partnerships in challenged communities and urban settings